sundaylife

| 12.5°C Belfast

'I just wanted her to be my wife': First same-sex couple to get married in Northern Ireland relive big day


Close

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples tied the knot earlier this year

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples tied the knot earlier this year

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples

BBC Northern Ireland and Afro-Mi

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples tied the knot earlier this year

The first same-sex couple to get married in Northern Ireland say their union shows how much progress the province has made around LGBT rights.

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples married in a Co Antrim hotel following a landmark law change in February and tell a new TV show that the lack of protests at the ceremony is a sign of the times.

The first civil partnerships took place in Northern Ireland in 2005 and were marred by protests from religious fundamentalists.

Sharni, who is originally from Brighton and who met Robyn while visiting her cousin here, said: "It just goes to show how far we've come in those 15 years, I think.

"I was brought up in Brighton and it's probably one of the most accepting cities for same-sex gay couples, LGBT, everything. We got engaged in 2015 and I started to get really impatient. I wondered if the Bill would ever get passed and if we'd ever be able to get married.

"It was taking so long. I just wanted her to be my wife no matter what, so I actually said we should file for a civil partnership.

"Six months later we heard the Bill had been passed and we were like, 'Yes. This is amazing. Hopefully we'll be able to be one of the first'.

"About three weeks before our wedding our registrar told us, 'Come down, it's official. You're booked in for February 10 and you could potentially be the first'."

Robyn added: "When we were told that, I said to Sharni about the first same-sex civil partnerships. I can't believe that was only 15 years ago. We didn't have protests at our wedding. We had a celebration."

In a new BBC NI show, Our Weddings, the couple relive the big day and speak of their nerves at appearing on Good Morning Britain shortly before their nuptials.

Close

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples

BBC Northern Ireland and Afro-Mi

Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples

"From the moment we met, that was it," Sharni said.

"When I came down the aisle and I saw Robyn in her dress for the first time, that's like my biggest memory.

"I was just so overwhelmed. I nearly ran down the aisle. As soon as I was through the doors, I couldn't wait to get to the end.

"I've got two brothers, so I had them walk me down the aisle, which was amazing.

"Robyn had her mummy walk her down and I'm surprised she got to the end without crying. I was so proud of her for actually being able to walk down, bless her."

Our Weddings is on BBC One NI on Monday night at 9pm

Sunday Life